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Sony has cancelled plans to attend PAX East in Boston next week “due to increasing concerns” over the coronavirus, while Facebook says the virus outbreak is behind stock shortages of its Oculus Quest VR headsets.
PlayStation had been planning to offer PAX East attendees the first public hands-on time with Naughty Dog‘s The Last of Us Part 2, as well as demos of upcoming releases Marvel’s Iron Man VR, Nioh 2, Doom Eternal and Spelunky 2, but it said on Wednesday it will no longer attend the event.
“We felt this was the safest option as the situation is changing daily,” it explained. “We are disappointed to cancel our participation in this event, but the health and safety of our global workforce is our highest concern.”
Facebook has also said that the coronavirus outbreak in China has hit production of its Oculus Quest headsets, resulting in shortages.
Quest is unavailable from the company’s Oculus website and many retail partners are also out of stock online.
“The coronavirus has been a wrinkle all companies are facing,” Facebook product manager Sean Liu told USA Today. “So we’re all working through it.”
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on multiple occasions last year that the company has been selling Quest VR headsets as fast as it can make them.
And in late January, he said Quest hardware and software sales continued to exceed expectations, with consumers purchasing almost $5 million worth of content in the Oculus Store on Christmas day.
Meanwhile, the organisers of GDC insist the event will go ahead despite concerns over the virus outbreak. The event said it will put extra measures in place to ensure visitor safety.